BPS, teachers' union to begin accelerated contract negotiations
Sept. 13, 2019
VIERA, FLORIDA -- Brevard Public Schools and the Brevard Federation of Teachers are taking a different approach to negotiating teacher pay and work conditions this year. The goal: agree faster and with less conflict on a competitive raise for about 4,900 school-district employees covered by BFT’s contract.
From Monday Sept. 16 through Thursday Sept. 19, teams for the school district and teacher’s union will meet daily at Viera High School. The negotiating sessions are scheduled for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the VHS media center and are open to the public.
That initial schedule differs from previous years when weeks could pass between negotiating sessions.
In August, BPS and the BFT announced they would work more collaboratively for the 2019-2020 school year in an effort to deliver pay increases sooner to teachers, counselors and other instructional staff. Two joint study groups have already met to explore issues. One such issue was the wage compression experienced by veteran teachers, especially those who received no raises for four years due to the Great Recession.
“A competitive compensation package for BPS teachers and support staff is our No. 1 budget priority,” BPS Superintendent Mark Mullins said. “I appreciate the BFT’s desire to work with us in a constructive way.”
Said BFT President Anthony Colucci: “I’m optimistic that this year’s negotiations will not only result in improved working conditions and well-deserved raises for our teachers, but also serve as a model for future negotiations.”
Leading the negotiating teams will be Colucci and BPS Director of Labor Relations Karyle Green.
To strengthen transparency, BPS will publish bargaining updates, meeting video and key background documents on its webpage, BrevardSchools.org. It also will publish updates through employee email and its weekly email newsletter, BPS Headlines. BFT will continue to send out membership emails, publish updates on its webpage, BFTteach.org, on its public Facebook page (Brevard Federation of Teachers) and live stream negotiations in its members-only page.